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Displaying items by tag: Welsh Ports Growth

#WelshPorts – A network of five Associated British Ports (ABP) in South Wales including the Port of Swansea (see report on former ferry operator) had handled more than 12.5 million tonnes of cargo from the region in 2015.

In addition, the port’s launched an array of renewable energy projects and significant new investments.

The 12.5 million tonnes of cargo that passed through the ports included a variety of both traditional and emerging sectors. The import and export of steel remains strong at the ports with Newport holding the title of the UK’s second largest steel handling port.

Sectors that have seen the most growth include the animal feed and fertiliser industry which has seen the ports adapt to accommodate these businesses and support local agriculture. The timber sector also generated noteworthy volumes of cargo.

The Port of Swansea also showcased its versatility and skills with the handling of wind turbine components for the Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project that will continue until spring of this year. On completion, this is due to be the biggest onshore wind farm in Wales and England.

A series of renewable energy projects has seen the ports move towards further energy self-sufficiency. Heavy investment has resulted in several wind and solar projects that collectively generated 7.8 million units of electricity in 2015.

Projects include the 4.5MWp Barry solar array that was commissioned in August 2015 and officially opened by Alun Cairns MP and Jane Hutt AM. The solar project was the result of an investment of over £5 million by ABP.

Further electricity was generated by the 2.3MW wind turbine at the port of Newport, and a series of 250kW rooftop solar projects. The ports are also currently trialling the use of electric vehicles.

These projects serve to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by the ports with the energy generated used to power port operations. Any surplus energy is then exported to the national grid.

An additional £4 million was invested in new cargo handling equipment and operational equipment at the ports, including the purchase of a Mobile Harbour Crane and the installation of a new fertiliser bagging line at the Port of Swansea.

This growth has resulted in the permanent workforce at the ports increasing. The operations department has grown by 10% to accommodate customer demand.

As well as welcoming a wide variety of businesses through the lock gates, the ports also serve as a hub for many customers due to their strong network of transport links via road, rail, and sea.

In April 2015 Travis Perkins opened a major distribution centre at ABP Cardiff which represented an investment of £5 million by ABP. This facility resulted in the creation of 100 jobs and is a great example of what ABP’s unique logistical network of ports in South Wales can offer customers.

ABP Director South Wales, Matthew Kennerley, is pleased with the developments across the five ports over the past year.

He said: “Investments throughout 2015 have allowed us to further develop a service tailored to our customer’s needs. The ports continue to be a thriving and unique landscape where businesses can grow and generate strong trade links. We have further investments planned for 2016 that encompass a wide range of port activity.

“The result of ABP’s South Wales operations is an annual contribution of almost £1 billion to the Welsh economy. The vast assortment of businesses that use the ports also means that 15,000 Welsh jobs are supported by them along with an additional 6,000 supported in the rest of the UK.”

Published in Ports & Shipping

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.


While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset


While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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